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When Does Breastfeeding Get Easier?

Help! Does breastfeeding get any easier? When? And how?

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Help! Does breastfeeding get any easier? When? And how?

The Bump Expert

We know -- you're freaking out! Many new moms realize that breastfeeding can be harder than it’s cracked up to be, but don’t give up now. It does get easier.

The first few days may be tough because your milk may not have come in, but it usually does within a couple days. You and baby may also have trouble getting the latch right, which can be painful and frustrating! Often, all it takes is a little bit of practice, but it’s also smart to call a pro -- baby's pediatrician, a lactation consultant or a postpartum doula or nurse -- to help you both get the hang of it. The earlier you can correct a problem, the more likely you and baby are to get back on track.

Remember that breast milk production is based on supply and demand -- baby’s feeding prompts your body to keep making milk, so it’s important to keep nursing frequently. Especially in the beginning, when you’re establishing your milk supply. If for any reason you supplement with a bottle of formula, pump some milk at that time, so your body keeps up with baby’s appetite. If you feel like all you’re doing is feeding your newborn, you’re actually doing it right! Don’t worry, he’ll get more efficient, and feedings will take up less of your time in the coming weeks and months.

“I’m a pediatrician and I’ve cried many times with my three kids due to breastfeeding frustrations the first two weeks,” says Josephine Dlugopolski-Gach, MD, pediatrician at Loyola University Health System in Maywood, Illinois. “By a few weeks postpartum, the babies and I both ‘got it.’” Other moms we know pretty much agree that breastfeeding got easier by three to four weeks, so hang in there, talk to other breastfeeding mamas on our breastfeeding board and call in a lactation consultant if it’s not working quite right. You can do it!

More from The Bump:

12 Ways to Make Breastfeeding Easier

Top 10 Breastfeeding Problems -- Solved!

Craziest Breastfeeding Fiascos

Josephine Dlugopolski-Gach, MD, pediatrician at Loyola University Health System in Maywood, Illinois

When Does Breastfeeding Get Easier?

I do agree with the bump expert - in the first few days after delivery, your milk supply has not yet come in, and it can be frustrating for both you and baby, but just remember to KEEP AT IT. Once your supply has come in and you are no longer engorged (which can be helped along by massage, hand expressing, relaxing) breastfeeding does get much easier, and in my opinion is one of the most rewarding experiences a mother can have! I breastfed my first child for 14 months, and was sad to stop. It builds a bond between you and your child like nothing else can. So, even though you may feel like it's just not working the first week or even a little through the second, don't give up... we were built for this, and you and baby will get the hang of it. There are usually lactation consultants on call at your hospital, and organizations in your community that provide free lactation support in person or over the phone... so definitely take advantage of those also! Good luck to you and your little one!

clhernandez333 |

When Does Breastfeeding Get Easier?

For me it happened after the first 2 - 3 weeks. Once my nipples toughened up. My lact cons told me to let my nipples air dry after feeding, instead of covering up in lanoline or hydrogel pads, it worked like a charm, sores went away. Pure pleasure now.

monikatommy |